Well, here’s one press release I never saw coming!
Sophie Ellis-Bextor‘s long awaited, much anticipated fourth studio album has finally been granted a solid release date in the UK: June 6.
On the same day, La Bex will release her latest single “Starlight,” an utterly lush mixture of chilly vocals and warm Italo-disco pulsations that first leaked a few weeks ago.
Haven’t heard it yet? Click below to hear the upcoming single streaming in full, courtesy of Purple Entertainment!
And now, the full press release:
Sophie Ellis-Bextor will release new single â€˜Starlight, the follow-up to the international hit â€˜Not Giving Up On Loveâ€™, on 6th June followed by her new album â€˜Make A Sceneâ€™ on the same day.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor is back with album number four, after baby number two, looking and sounding better than ever. With a sound that is a mixture of pop, Disco, Nu-Disco and 1980s electronica, Sophie Ellis-Bextor has become established as a multi-platinum selling artist over the past decade. With hit singles such as â€˜Take Me Home (A Girl Like Me), â€˜Get Over You / Move This Mountainâ€™ and â€˜Murder on the Dancefloorâ€™ under her belt, Sophie still remains one of today’s most exciting British female solo artists.
â€˜Starlightâ€™ is a perfect chilled dance anthem that is instantly catchy with a soft but edgy beat. It is a track that can easily take you from sun lounger by day to nightclub by evening and is the perfect summer anthem.
Sophieâ€™s new album â€˜Make A Sceneâ€™ is an exciting and energetic pop juggernaut on which Sophie was heavily involved with all parts, including co-writing much of it and working with an in-demand team of writers and producers that includes Freemasons, Greg Kurstin, Calvin Harris, Cathy Dennis, Metronomy, Richard X and Armin Van Buuren.
Two songs on the record come from the renowned Freemasons. The first, â€˜Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer)â€™ was not just a massive success in the UK but also went on to become one of Sophieâ€™s biggest successes on the continent, particularly Russia where it reached number two in the chart. The second song is the single â€˜Bittersweetâ€™ which is a euphoric and emotive epic track with dramatic drum machines and cold eighties synths.
The albums opener â€˜Revolutionâ€™ was written with Greg Kurstin (Kylie, Lily Allen and Ke$ha) and Cathy Dennis and with its catchy gritty bass and crunching beats it is the perfect upbeat introduction to â€˜Make A Sceneâ€™. Sophie also worked with Calvin Harris on the album on track â€˜Off & Onâ€™ which is an edgy, electro track which has the trademark Calvin Harris sound mixed with Sophieâ€™s smooth vocals, and is sure to be a hit.
Sophie Ellis-Bextor emerged ten years ago with rare poise amidst the most memorable chart scuffle since Brit pop. â€˜Groovejet (If This Ainâ€™t Love)â€™ with Italian producer Spiller, her debut solo release (after splitting with rock band The Audience), has recently been awarded the astonishing accolade of the decadeâ€™s most played track on radio.
Sophie will be touring the UK this summer alongside both Erasure and Bryan Ferry as well as performing at a host of boutique UK festivals.
I’M SO EXCITED!
I don’t want to tempt fate, but if that’s not a number one, I’ll eat my sofa.
As the man responsible for such songs as Diana Vickers‘ “The Boy Who Murdered Love,” The Saturdays‘ “Chasing Lights,” and Will Young‘s “Anything is Possible,” as well as some of the upcoming material from Pixie Lott and JLS, pop songwriter and producer Chris Braide has seen his fair share of glory in the UK Top 40 recently.
Two weeks ago, I had the great pleasure of speaking with the busy producer from his studio in London (which is about to be packed away and carted stateside!)
I’m quite proud of this interview–we touched upon all sorts of artists and ended up having a really in-depth discussion about the very nature of pop itself.
Read on to hear all the gossip from behind Braide’s soundboard–loads of pop nerd chatter ahead!
Click “Read More…” to view the entire interview.
So, this is something new and interesting.
The night before my interview with Sky Ferreira, I received a vaguely mysterious e-mail from MuuMuse reader Sam Lansky with an attachment entitled “Fame Fatale.” The e-mail suggested that the attached may assist me in preparing for my interview.
As soon as I began reading, I already knew: This had to be published immediately.
“Fame Fatale” is not only a remarkably in-depth analysis (and personal account) of Ferreira’s curious rise to fame, but a thoughtful contemplation of the manufacturing of the modern pop star and the very conventions of the music industry itself. It’s extremely well-researched, poses tough questions, and deserves your full attention.
With his permission, I’ve asked Sam to feature his article on MuuMuse. It’s an incredible piece, and I do highly recommend that all of my Muusers give it a thorough reading–even if it’s “tl;dr” territory.
I do, after all, hope to keep a literate company.
Click “Read More…” to read Sam Lansky’s “Fame Fatale: The Rise of Sky Ferreira.”
In December of 2008, 19-year-old singer Diana Vickers was prematurely eliminated from the fifth season of the UK’s X Factor.
Within months after her departure however, the young singer was already creating a healthy amount of buzz around her debut–enough to nearly overshadow that of her former competitor’s efforts, Alexandra Burke and JLS.
The buzz was due to an ever-expanding rumor list of drool-worthy collaborators and musical legends, including Guy Sigsworth, Starsmith, Chris Braide, and Cathy Dennis. As the news trickled down, the promise of these recording sessions grew greater, as fans waited to hear what the quirky singer was quietly cooking up in the studio.
Then came the release of the singer’s debut single, “Once,” an instantly catchy, thrilling rush of explosive choruses and big bass beats. The single proved that Vickers’ odd, hushed delivery and near-broken vocals lent themselves perfectly to pop, causing the song to rocket to the #1 spot on the UK Singles Chart in late April of 2010. Her debut album soon followed on May 3, which also hit the #1 spot on the UK Album Chart the following week.
Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree is incredibly solid electro-pop package, colored by an unconventionally raspy voice and a youthful spirit. Neither dance music nor torch song balladry, Vickers’ album is a refreshing blend of bright electronic hooks and classic crooning, refusing to be characterized in either direction.
With glittering, multi-layered electronica-inspired songs like “You’ll Never Get To Heaven,” “My Hip,” and “Remake Me & You,” Vickers follows in line with such artists as Ellie Goulding and Imogen Heap) in forging the somewhat newly founded genre of indie electro pop. The songs, which feature extensive production and wild, whizzing noises, mesh together to create a whimsical soundscape complimented by cheerful crooning and dizzying melodies.
“The Boy Who Murdered Love,” set to be the next single released from the album, is among one of the most immediate standouts on the record. In the song, Vickers recounts a love gone sour with the most biting of lyricism and pained delivery: “You’re the boy who murdered love,” she begins, “cold hands and a heart of stone. You’re a Midas in reverse, you’re the king of pain and hurt.” Everything about the song burns with broken-hearted anguish, resulting in one of the most delicious of the electro-pop confections on the record.
“My Hip,” which features Vickers herself taking a turn on the trumpet, is another highlight. Taking a break from the lush, ethereal electronic sounds for a brief foray through frantic, skipping beats and trumpet flares, the singer charms her way through a gleeful crush. It’s both adorable and addictive.
Vickers’ only cover on the album is also a delightful surprise for music fans, The Sugarcubes‘ song, “Hit.” Vickers’ version blends in effortlessly with the rest of the record, replacing the groovier original beats with bright, poppy synthesizers and swirling electronic beats. As it (unsurprisingly) turns out, the singer’s voice takes well to BjÃ¶rk‘s throaty yelps, making it sound more like an original selection than a mere karaoke attempt.
The ballads, however, are a bit more temperamental than the uptempo offerings. “Four Leaf Clover,” for instance, is an overly soggy misstep that, aside from the song’s lonesome verses, never fully redeems itself from a rather cliched chorus. The same applies to “Me & You.”
It is only with “N.U.M.B.” and “Notice,” two incredibly sophisticated slices of adult pop, that Vickers truly raises the bar for the rest of the album and firmly establishes herself as more than just a pretty voice. The proof comes three and a half minutes into “N.U.M.B.”, as Vickers tackles the final repetition of the chorus expert delivery, emitting a soaring, heartbreaking final note that comes crashing down. Chills.
Vickers’ debut is far more exciting and listenable than most of what’s come out of the X Factor/Simon Cowell hit machine as of late. Songs from the Tainted Cherry Tree is a highly listenable, engaging album of lush electronica that proves why Vickers is much, much more than simply a finalist on some reality show.
God, I love press releases. New photo alert!
Sophie Ellis-Bextor‘s fourth studio album, now titled Straight Through the Heart, will be released this summer.
Along with the new Freemasons produced single “Bittersweet,” the album will include tracks with Calvin Harris, Richard X, Metronomy, Liam Howe from the Sneaker Pimps and Cathy Dennis. There will also be another new Freemasons collaboration on the album.
No word on whether or not “Heartbreak (Make Me A Dancer)” will make the album, but its lack of mention makes me suspect that it will not see the final tracklisting.
This album is going to be without flaw.